The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside
He restores my soul......
(Psalm 23: 1-3a....)
“The book of nature is a fine and large piece of tapestry rolled up, which we are not able to see all at once, but must be content to wait for the discovery of its beauty, and symmetry, little by little, as it gradually comes to be more and more unfolded or displayed.”
--Robert Boyle (1691)
“Although God is invisible and incomprehensible, God wills to be known under the form of created things, by donning the garment of creation.”
What is it, I wonder, about “quiet/still water” that intrigues and moves us so? Why do still waters seem to draw us to contemplation and reflection? Why, I wonder, do still waters seem to bring us peace?
I am told that a good shepherd will lead his flock to quiet, still water so that his sheep may drink and be restored. Indeed, it is my understanding that sheep will not (or cannot?) drink from agitated or flowing water. Sheep will, in fact, eventually die of thirst if they do not find quiet and still water to drink....
Recently, as I stood at the edge of a west Georgia pond and looked into the placid, quiet water there, it dawned on me that I was seeing three conjoined but somehow separate “dimensions”, a mysterious visual “trinity”....
-There was, of course, before me the surface of the water upon which leaves and branches floated and where the shoreline touched. I was struck by the “immediacy” of those things at the surface; they were, quite simply, “here and now”....a Present, tangible, reality
-But then my eye was drawn beneath the surface of the water, and it occurred to me that here were things that had, over time, sunk into the Past, things now somewhat vague and unclear,... things pressed down by time.... like submerged memories (some good, some bad). Real things for sure, but things “gone by”, things covered up and/or things nearly forgotten.
-As I continued to look into the pond at the water's edge, I became more aware of another... a third... “dimension”. Gazing down at the water, I realized that I could also see treetops, blue sky, clouds and sunlight above and beyond. These, of course, were “just” reflections, but certainly they were as real as the “here and now” things on the surface, and also just as real as those things that lie submerged below. The things “above” were, perhaps, less tangible for the moment, but still they seemed to suggest a Future promise....and seemed to offer Hope.
Is it possible that when we are led to stand beside still waters, are we, too, being invited there to “drink” and to be restored?
Is it possible, perhaps, that we are being asked to consider the glory and presence of a God who has skillfully woven this “tapestry” of creation into being and who even now is marvelously revealing himself in and through the embroidered colorful threads of Space, Time and Matter?
And then ,... I wonder,... how (and why?) is it that we, creatures ourselves, have been so fearfully and wonderfully fashioned that we are able to apprehend and to appreciate some of the awesome beauty and sublime cascading splendor of nature, ...this magnificently woven “coat of many colors”?
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
He wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their
waters. (Psalm 104: 1-3a)
“Reflections on Reflections”
On this shore, Lord, help us ponder
This Tri-Unity we see;
May a seed there be implanted...
Help us glimpse Eternity!
Help us drink in these reflections,
And enjoy your play of Light...
Baptize us with Living Water,
So the dawn may chase our night.
And if unforgiveness festers
From the wounds of yesterday,
Sin submerged beneath the surface...
Please, Lord, teach us how to pray!
Please immerse us in creation,
By these colors, help us know;
And then if a seed be planted,
Holy Spirit, make it grow!
Teach us Truth on banks of glory;
Help us fathom what is past...
Draw us, Father, to your Presence
In the net the Son has cast.
Help us move beyond the surface
Of this broken world we're in....
Teach us, Lord, of Sweet Redemption
So we may be born again.
Help us hear your higher calling,
Even as we gaze below,
And then bless our understanding,
So your love, Lord, we may know.
Help us seek You through creation...
Lord, there's more than meets the eye!
Help us grasp your very Nature...
Help us wonder “How?” and “Why?”
If this coat of many colors,
Is the garment that You wear...
Light the way, Lord, to your chamber
And the Bridegroom dwelling there.
Help us taste this Living Water...
Revelation! ….Sea of Glass!
Help us know this Hope of Glory...
Distant Shore...our home at last!
“The heavens declare the glory of
the skies proclaim the work of his
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display
In the heavens he has pitched a tent
for the sun
which is like a bridegroom
coming forth from his
--(Psalm 19: 1....5a)
“The Lord will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.”
“What are the heavens, the earth, the sea, but a sheet of royal paper, written all over with the wisdom and power of God?”
“If nature proved God clearly, we would not have to search for Him with all our heart.”